This post is a partnership with experts from Force by Design, a salesforce.com consultancy based out of San Francisco, California with offices in East Lansing, Michigan. Author Todd Hash is a certified Salesforce consultant for Force by Design. For more information, visit www.forcebydesign.com

Contributed by Todd Hash, Cloud Consultant & Business Analyst at Force by Design 

DocuSign for Salesforce is an amazing tool with a wide array of uses. Not only can you send documents out for signature, but you can pre-populate those documents with data from Salesforce as well as permit the signer to update information within the document so that Salesforce data is updated also.

Thanks to the robust functionality of the DocuSign platform, it can be integrated into your existing Salesforce workflows in any number of ways. With that in mind we offer a few planning tips below to help prepare for a DocuSign for Salesforce integration:

Integration Planning Tips

  • Identify Key Documents – Depending upon the size of your organization you may have dozens of documents that can benefit from DocuSign. However, we’ve found that first selecting a few key documents for an initial implementation is a great tactic for success. Starting with a core set of documents allows your team to build expertise around the DocuSign integration. After that, you’ll be well prepared to maximize the efficiencies that DocuSign for Salesforce brings to every workflow.
  • Determine Degree of Integration – For each of the above documents:

1) Do I only need one signature on this document? Great, this is the easiest form to integrate.

2) Do I need to pre-populate the document with data from a single Salesforce record? No problem, a bit more configuration is needed, but nothing too complicated.

3) Do I need to gather additional information on the document from the signer and/or want the signer to update their pre-populated information? Great! Now we are really starting to leverage the full power of DocuSign. The configuration is more complex, pulling data into the document and pushing data into Salesforce after signing.

4) Finally, if the signer provides additional or updated information: do I need to see that information on the Salesforce record, or is it sufficient for the data to be captured only on the document itself? This is an important consideration if you need to generate reports based on information contained within the document.

  • Mark Up Your Documents – With the above in mind, it’s helpful to print out each of the documents that you want to integrate initially. You can begin to mark them up with notes to indicate the following:

1) Items on the document that require signatures or initials, as well as whether the signature/initial is required or optional

2) Items that need to be pre-populated from a Salesforce record

3) Items the signer can update, correct or newly complete that should be updated on the Salesforce record

4) Items that the signer can update, correct or newly complete that do not need to be updated on the Salesforce record

  • Tweak Your Document Design – Most documents signed today have been designed for hardcopy completion and signature with a pen. While these can be adapted “as is” for use with DocuSign, the signer’s experience may be compromised if digital elements fall on top of printed elements of the original document. So be prepared to redesign or at least tweak elements of the original paper document as part of the DocuSign for Salesforce integration.

For example, the original printed document may have a question with three checkbox options. However, in Salesforce that same question works better as a picklist with three values. Imagine a signer who receives a document that shows three checkboxes that can’t be checked because there is now a picklist sitting on top of the boxes. It’s not a pretty sight, but could be easily addressed if you are open to tweaking that paper application for digital delivery.

  • Security – In this day and age online security is more important than ever. Together Salesforce and DocuSign address critical security needs though back-end encryptions that protect information as it is passed from Salesforce to signer and back into Salesforce.

In addition there are tools to fine-tune access to limit who can see specific fields within a document. For example, one document might only require only a name and address that should be visible to all staff while another document might contain more personal details such as a birth date, Social Security number, and banking information that should be limited to key staff. With DocuSign and Salesforce these types of fine distinctions can be addressed on a document by document basis to provide maximum security and flexibility.

To learn more about DocuSign security and to download a security whitepaper visit:  https://www.docusign.com/whitepapers/docusign-security-overview

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